COMMENTARY | The First Amendment guarantees the right of freedom of speech to every American citizen. As such, pro wrestling fans have the right to boo or cheer whatever wrestlers they choose. And no one would agree with this more than WWE wrestler John Cena. However, there is a difference between "a" right and what "is" right.
For some reason, many WWE wrestling fans possess blind hatred for John Cena. This is ironic since he is unquestionably the top face (good guy) in the WWE. At virtually every WWE event, a battle ensues between Cena fans and Cena haters to outshout the other. Yet, John Cena has done nothing overtly to antagonize WWE fans.
For my part, I would not consider myself a John Cena fan. Among active WWE wrestlers, my favorites are CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Damien Sandow, and Antonio Cesaro. Having said that, I respect Cena as much as any WWE wrestler. In the kayfabe WWE world, he always does the right thing and in the real world, his Make-A-Wish work is unparalleled.
If you are a true wrestling fan, you also have to respect John Cena's love and dedication to the industry. Pro wrestling is filled with athletes who failed or were injured in other sports and only got into wrestling because their first careers didn't work out. Of course, there are also former WWE wrestlers who left the business to launch other careers.
With thousands of WWE fans booing him, John Cena's passion for wrestling always shines forth during his promos. Yes, his promos are all very similar. But I respect Cena for staying true to his WWE character while others are constantly changing their names and gimmicks. No one complains about The Undertaker playing essentially the same character for over 20 years.
As I alluded to earlier, John Cena's work with the Make-A-Wish foundation should silence even the most vocal of critics. I've heard from many of Cena's detractors that they do respect him for granting over 300 wishes and that they hate his character, not him personally. But you can't separate the two. It is both as a character and as a person that Cena grants these wishes.
Perhaps the most ridiculous criticism levied at John Cena is that he is not the most skilled of wrestlers. This reason not to respect Cena is so preposterous I hesitate even to address it. WWE wrestling is not a sport. It's not an Olympic event. It's entertainment. Besides, he is a much better wrestler than Hulk Hogan ever was and that never stopped WWE fans from cheering him.
But at least the respect that John Cena shows to the American troops is always reciprocated. Cena always made the trip when the WWE would travel to the Middle East for Tribute to the Troops. He also wears dog tags and salutes the camera. I have never seen troops in attendance at a WWE event boo John Cena, so at least they get it.
Love him or hate him, but John Cena deserves respect.
Patrick Michael lives in New Orleans and has always been a big fan of pro wrestling. Patrick's favorite wrestling promotion was Mid-South Wrestling back in the 1980s. Patrick's favorite wrestling angle of all-time was the NWO and his favorite wrestler is Roddy Piper. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
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